By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
Mississippi students showed slight improvements in their math scores on a national standardized test, according to data that was released on Tuesday.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is a test given every other year to a representative group of fourth- and eighth-grade students around the country. Known as the Nation’s Report Card, it is among the most respected tests used to compare different states and measure student progress over time.
In 2011, 19 percent of Mississippi’s eighth-grade students scored at least proficient in math, up from 15 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, 25 percent of fourth-graders scored at least proficient in math, up from 22 percent in 2009.
Mississippi’s NAEP scores in reading remained similar to those in 2009. Twenty-two percent of fourth-graders and 21 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient in reading this year. The fourth-grade numbers were the same as two years ago, while the eighth-grade numbers rose by two percentage points.
“Although we mirror the majority of states in the nation in terms of minimal growth, we are disappointed that we did not see the significant increases that will help Mississippi close the achievement gap in comparison with other states,” State Superintendent Tom Burnham said in a statement. “While Mississippi students did make improvements related to math scores, the results of the reading assessment make it clear that we must continue to raise the bar so our students will be ready to compete in a global society.”
Nationally, 34 percent of fourth- and eighth- graders performed at least proficient in reading. Meanwhile, 40 percent of fourth-graders reached that mark in math, as did 35 percent of eighth-graders.
Mississippi’s eighth-grade students were among only 13 states to show statistically significant gains in math since 2009.